BON IVER- 22, a Million
I can’t do this justice. It’s a jaw dropping record, in more ways than one, and I simply don’t have it figured out. I’m not sure I ever will. It is safe to say that Justin Vernon has left the cabin. There are no rootsy unrequited love songs here, verse-chorus-verse is all but abandoned, and connective tissue with ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ is stretched thin. Instead there are nonsense song titles, samples, synthesizer loops, layered, manipulated vocals and abstract lyrics about the ephemeral nature of everything. It’s a record from another time and place. If you think about what Vernon could have done- repeat, recycle, count receipts- this is astounding stuff. Repeated listens help- there’s late night bliss to be found here, and true analogue beauty entwined with the cold, cool autotune- but I feel like I could hear it a hundred times and still be an explorer. You’ve got to figure this one out for yourself.